VOLGOGRAD: Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary became the oldest player ever to appear at a World Cup after the 45-year-old was named in the team to face Saudi Arabia in Volgograd yesterday. Egypt tweeted their team line-up including El Hadary, who smashed the record set by Colombia goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, who was aged 43 years and three days when he played against Japan in Brazil in 2014.
El Hadary, who is 45 years and 161 days old and nicknamed ‘High Dam’, made his debut for Egypt in 1996 – a year before his Egyptian squad mate Ramadan Sobhy was born. Both teams have only pride to play for, having both been eliminated from Group A, with Russia and Uruguay already guaranteed last-16 berths.
Essam El Hadary, the oldest player ever to appear at a World Cup, marked his record achievement with one outstanding penalty save for Egypt but was powerless to stop a second in a 2-1 defeat by Saudi Arabia yesterday. The 45-year-old goalkeeper flew to his right to make a spectacular stop in the 39th minute from Fahad Al-Muwallad’s spot-kick, awarded for handball, at the Volgograd Arena. But Saudi Arabia scored deep into stoppage time in both halves, with Salem Al-Dawsari’s last-gasp winner securing their first World Cup victory since a run to the last 16 in 1994.- Agencies